Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lonely Branch in the Dustbowl


The vast spaces of the Great Plains are a barren and unforgiving landscape, but beautiful in their starkness and profound in their emptiness.  This photo of Southwest Kansas is Dustbowl territory, and on this particular day it feels like it:  sustained winds of 40mph and temperatures of 100 degrees.

Lost in this sea of emptiness is a lonely old branch of Santa Fe origin.  It is a thin ribbon that still plies these great plains, connecting what is left of the small towns beneath hot and endless skies.

3 comments:

SDP45 said...

I've been thinking about your post for the last few days. Lonely, desolate, no hope. Irrigation solved this problem in my area. Seems Kansas may still have a direct connection.

Dan

LinesWest said...

Hi Dan - I hadn't really thought about it before but you're right. There's a lot of that "high desert" feeling in both Central WA and the western plains. Historically they've been able to pull water up out of a large aquifer (the Ogallala) and water the wheat. The levels are dropping though and this is becoming more difficult in many areas now.

-Leland

Robert in Port Townsend said...

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.
--Emily Dickinson